The Tribune's monthly quota of articles that begin to frankly address the problems of the urban poor must be exactly three (lead poisoning, poverty, and corruption). Or, maybe now that Rahm Emanuel's Blackhawks bromance is waning, his lackeys are back on high alert for anything less than glowing written about Emanuel's management of Chicago. Whatever the reason, the Tribune's hot streak of truth-telling comes to a screeching halt with Monday's editorial posting (paywalled) that is a direct response to the CTU's charge that CPS is broke on purpose.
The Editorial Board helpfully reminds readers, "The value in the stark report prepared for CPS by Ernst & Young is that the firm has great credibility. The report, released over the last few days, underscores that this is not a manufactured crisis. It is real; it is happening now."
The CTU never said it was not real, they've simply outlined--ad nauseam--the many repeated missteps that Mayor Daley and David Vitale, among others, have taken along the way to ensure a crisis. Toxic debt swaps? Check. Rampant cronyism? Check. An open checkbook to any and all but traditional schools? Check. Fat checks to charter operators and opportunists? Check and check.
The Tribune dutifully points to Ernst & Young's claim (a week before the CTU contract expires) that, " 'CPS teachers are well remunerated compared to their peers in other large US/Midwest school districts.' " This, despite the 2012 report by arbitrator Edwin Benn that suggested pay be commensurate with increased work.
The Editorial Board further carries the mayor's water by suggesting that CPS seek bankruptcy authorization, "No one would relish a bankruptcy declaration; the repercussions would be difficult to predict. But the Illinois General Assembly needs to pass legislation to allow that, just in case." Needless to say the charter operators who are already making a windfall of profits would relish such bankruptcy proceedings so they can gleefully continue to make private a public good.
The writers plant a nice wet one right on Rahm's ass when they can't even be bothered to suggest getting rid of David Vitale or suing the rubber stamp Board of Education for orchestrating the tidal wave of financial malfeasance the families, students, and teachers are now bracing for.